WhatsApp as a medium has become a rather important part of our day-to-day communication, in turn becoming one of the most highly-replicated apps. For eg WhatsApp Plus or WhatsApp Gold - update rumours that keep floating on social media. If you have received any message for an update to WhatsApp Gold, then beware, it is a fake forward.
WhatsApp Gold that made its appearance in 2016 is back again. Downloading it will only install malware into your phone and even jeopardise your personal data. If the update message says that you will be able to access some premium features such as send photos to 100 people at a time or that you can delete your sent messages at any point of time then it is a hoax.
If you end up receiving the update link, do not click on it.
Manish Kumawat, Director at Cryptus Cyber Security Pvt Ltd said, "WhatsApp Gold is one of the best ways to avoid virus messages if you have a message to upgrade to WhatsApp with better features, do not click on it. Also, do not forward such messages. People spread the message through the hoax, by spreading such message forward. However, this is not the first time that hackers have tried to steal users' personal information through the Fake Upgrade WhatsApp Application. Even before, this kind of message has become viral. In such a case, if you have installed WhatsApp, then immediately reset your phone from factory data."
Additionally, a viral warning that talks about the "Martinelli video" scam, where if you download the video link malware could be installed in your phone, has been circulating on social media. That warning appears to be a hoax as well and is a fake forward, as no such video exists. On the other hand, a report in news.com.au, mentions that the Martinelli video could also be a front for WhatsApp Gold. Both these purported links aim to do the same thing.
Either way, the users must keep in mind that any update on WhatsApp will only be available on Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The tag of 'forwarded' that comes along with forwarded messages must also be kept in mind. Users must be wary of such forwarded messages and avoid forwarding them in turn.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)